I finally settled on a planner and purchased the Paperblanks weekly planner for 2013 with the Black Moroccan cover style. The covers are embossed and foil stamped matte coated paper. They look like rough leather but are not. They look so much like scuffed leather that when I showed the book to my husband he sniffed it to verify it was not actual leather.
The date is foil stamped in gold at the bottom which is subtle and I like that. The book includes two ribbon page markers in burnt orange and dark ivory with angle cuts and finished edges so they won’t fray. There were several different configurations available as well as multiple sizes. I chose the week-on-one-page with a blank page for notes on the facing page. They refer to this layout as the Ultra Verso format. I got a fairly large-sized book (7″ x 9″) compared to the tiny Daycraft planner for the last six months of 2012.
The spine is stamped in gold foil and makes the planner look like an old book which I find pleasing.
Inside is a list of international holidays; monthly planning calendars for 2013 and 2014; dialing codes; world time zones; international clothing size, measurements and temperature conversions; travel planning, birthday and important dates lists; as well as a few additional lined pages for notes.
Inside, the paper is a soft ivory color with readable but unobtrusive lines and dates. I’ve only gotten a couple days entered into the book and two of them I was home sick but I like being able to fill in meetings and appointments and still have room to add notes and comments.
When put to the pen test, the Paperblanks paper wowed me. It took every tool well with the exception of my PIlot Petit2 Sign Pen which feathered a little bit and the Sharpie Fine Point Marker which did show through to the back of the page but did not really bleed. Wow. Even my paler colors showed up clearly and wrote smoothly on this paper. I may have to buy one of the Paperblanks notebooks now too!
None of the other inks showed through at all. With the finer points, I was more apt to see the slight indention in the paper than actual show-through.
In the back pocket of the book is a small address book which came with the planner. It has a simple brown cardstock cover and 15 pages for addresses, phone numbers and emails.
The pages of the address book are tabbed in groups alphabetically and use the same warm ivory paper stock. I have not entered any addresses in this yet but it will be a great portable address book for all my pen pals.
The back pocket is gusseted with bookbinder’s cloth like many other brands but its a nice feature to include and its well-constructed. The address book was slipped over the flap to hold it securely into the book.
Finally, the book also include the black vertical elastic closure. I’m not crazy about how the elastic breaks up the symmetry of the cover but it may help to keep bits from falling out later on. If its stretches out, I may just cut it off and use a horizontal band to hold the contents in place.
I was a little on the fence about the faux leather-look covers but I find it really pleasing and it was priced so that it looks precious but its not. Its a good solid working planner and I won’t feel bad filling it up with goofy notes. I’ll be curious to see how well the paper board covers hold up over the next year and I’ll do a halfway-through in June so you can see how it has fared.
I purchased my Paperblanks planner from Jenni Bick for $19.95. They had excellent customer service and quick shipping. I am not affiliated with either Jenni Bick or Paperblanks, just so you know.
PS: I forgot to mention that the binding is a Smythe binding which is a sewn binding so that the pages will not fall out and the book will lay flat.